From Nazareth to Jordan and Petra
By Lisa – 2012 Fauzi Azar volunteer
Traveling to Jordan couldn’t be easier from Nazareth I left on the Tuesday and returned to Israel on the Saturday spending two nights in Petra.
My method of travel was, using a bus company AG AFIFI GROUP. You may want to confirm the day before that you would like to book/reserve a place especially in the high season. The Bus leaves from the office in Nazareth which is located on Paulus street heading out of town, it’s about a 20 min walk or you can catch a taxi for about 20 shekels.
The bus departs at 8.30am therefore you need to arrive for about 8am to pay for your ticket and go through the formalities with your passport details etc.
Once on the Bus – the Journey to Sheik Hussein Jordan Bridge crossing takes about 45 min to one hour and you are traveling to Beit She’an. The first stop is the Israeli boarder crossing, you have to exit the bus and go inside the building and first to pay the exit tax which cost’s 101 shekels and then you have to go to another counter to have your passport stamped that you have exited Israel.
The next stage is to leave the building (Israeli check point) and get back onto the bus to then take you across to the Jordan boarder and again you have to leave the bus and enter into the Jordan check point. Upon arriving you have to queue at one desk and pay 30 dinar for the Visa which is approx about $50 US dollars. You will receive a couple of stamps for you passport that you then take to another counter and queue again and then you’ll be asked a few questions about the purpose of your visit. After some simple questions, you’ll receive a one month visa to enter into Jordan. Once the formalities have finished you leave the building and walk to another point to have your luggage scanned and checked. Once this is all completed you then return back to the bus and then enter Jordan through the entry check point. A official will be present on the bus also and the passport will be checked again by one last Jordanian official before the barrier is released and you are officially in Jordan.
If you need to change any shekels at the check point into Dinars, this is very easy therefore do not worry if you haven’t organized any dinars before leaving. There is a small exchange to do this on the Jordan boarder side.
Once you are on the Bus, the journey takes about another 2 and half hours the total Journey is approx 5 hours depending on how long the various boarder controls take.
Once inside Jordan you are traveling to the Maraya Hotel on Al Jama’a Street – Amman. The Bus will drop you outside the Hotel you will be greeted by many taxi’s to take you on to your onwards journey inside Jordan. My accommodation was based in the Old City of Amman and I paid 10 dinars to get there – which is pretty good considering it took about 35 min to reach my final destination.
The next morning I choose to take a taxi from my hotel down to Petra and sharing a taxi with three other people cost 25 Dinar but it meant we would take the scenic route stopping in Wadi Mujib, Karak and Wadi Musa.
Entrance fees into Petra are 50 dinars for one day or 55 dinars for two days therefore if you have time it’s better to pay the extra dinars and you have the opportunity to explore magical Petra for a second time.
There are a range of hotels to choose from in Petra I choose to stay at the Cleopetra Hotel and if it’s not too cold you can also opt for a Bedouin camp experience, which is what my travel companions choose the second night, however in early February this is rather to cold for me. The hotel is very friendly the staff were excellent and it’s great for a budget hotel with home cooked food a lovely evening meal after a long day on your feet. It has a great write up in Lonely Planet and they organise night trips to Petra twice a week.
When leaving Petra on a Friday, bear in mind some local transport is still running but not all day, I caught the local bus from Petra back to Amman at 9.30am in the morning – the cost was 5 dinars extremely cheap for a journey that takes two hours approx. You are dropped at a central bus station close to the old City in Amman.
I stayed for one further night in Amman and the next Day the AG AFIFI GROUP leaves at 1pm therefore you need to be back at the Mayarya Hotel again, however I choose to take The Trust Bus Company as it leaves at 8.30am in the morning from Amman. You will have to organize a taxi to take you to the office and there you collect the bus to take you to Israel. As it was I was the only passenger they kindly organized me three private taxi’s, one to take me to the check point another one through the check point along with someone waiting to take me at the Israeli side back to Nazareth, so it was a fantastic service very well organized and I would highly recommend.
for more information -0796927455
Telephone: +972 4 6010458
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Trust Bus Company Jordan
Telephone: +962 3 203 9804